Bones.

Bones

It’s night and it’s dark and I’m alone and lonely and wondering.

I don’t know anything. How do we live with ourselves, when we know nothing? Fake it, I suppose. Play the charade along with everyone else, and cower in the curtains back stage.

You know, writing can be excruciating. Not only because every word on the page often seems little more than a smear of slime. Not only because every new word is sometimes like pulling out your own teeth, peeling off the skin and flesh from your skull, wet slice by slice, and then dismantling your bones from the neck down.

It’s also painful because every time I write, I’m struck with existential angst.

What is writing but a way to tolerate this absurd, transitory existence? A way to briefly comfort ourselves with the fact that our lives matter, that our words will live on to touch others long after the flesh has melted from our bones?

Theoretically, what if rats made art with their faeces? We would consider it with indifference and disgust. Yet it could be of paramount importance to the rat, an expression of its furry little existence. Isn’t our art the same? Just patterns drawn in the sand, that we preserve for posterity until posterity runs out, and then it is nothing but molecules pushed aside, just paper, dust, empty ideas without brains to latch onto.

That’s pretty awful. The gaping nothingness of living, that even turns books into dust, if you give it enough time.

You know what else is awful? Scrolling through pictures of buried skeletons. Or watching a documentary about burials, like I did. Those skulls, embedded in the earth like grimy pearls, along with their bones, stirred up something nameless and horrifying within me today.

After all, you and I, him and her, we all end up like that. A bunch of bones, buried in the dirt – if we’re lucky. Just calcified products. Nothing but atoms that return to the earth. What’s the point? What’s it for? Is there a soul that flits away like a shadow bird, once we die? I hope so. But I don’t know.

Just a bunch of bones.

I don’t know anything, but I still wonder. And I cry behind the curtains, but I still go out and dance. Let us tap our bones in a lovely little symphony, and bury them quietly.

Why Do So Many People Choose To Stay Dead?

Passion

“I only believe in intoxication and ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” – Anaïs Nin

Why is that so many people don’t seek their heart’s true passion?

It makes me wonder how they can live. How they can wake up in the morning, and face the bleak future of the day, without knowing what keeps their heart pumping.

You see miserable, passionless people everyday. They’re sad. They’re sad, and they don’t even know it. The sadness is buried deep beneath societal tokens of money, wealth, status, but they’re sad because they’re not doing what they love, not what they’re heart yearns for, not something that makes them want to dance and sing and cry.

Harsh as it sounds, if you’re not following your passion, or at the very least actively searching for your passion by dabbling in a variety of activities, you might as well die. Because you’re living a dead life. You’re a zombie in our midst, and we’ve got enough of those.

Look. In the end, it doesn’t matter if we live happy, fulfilling lives, or boring, unfulfilled lives trapped in a cubicle and watching television and eating junk food until our mind and stomachs and teeth rot. It doesn’t matter, in the full scheme of things. Human civilisation will end. You will end. Your consciousness will end. Every single book that has ever been written will one day be naught but dust. Naught but illegible scribbles on tree bark.

But it matters for you. It matters for you. All you’ve got is this one life. Why not live the best one that you can? Sure, it doesn’t matter, but if it doesn’t matter, doesn’t that make you feel all the more free to chase your dreams? If the choice is between something good and something bad, and it doesn’t matter which one you choose in the long run, why not choose the good? At least you’ll make yourself happy. At least you’ll make others happy, if you’re heart is in the right place.

All I’m saying is, don’t be one of those stone-heart people with listless eyes, who drag their body about their days as if it’s a flesh sack filled with bones. You’re more than that. You’ve got shining eyes and a soul and a heart. Why not let yourself shine? Sure, at the end of the day, the candle burns out, but, ah, what lovely light!

What lovely light.

Things That Make You Feel Alive

Fly

People go through life wanting to feel alive.

After spending days docile and dulled at work or school, we seek pleasure. Things that get the blood going, the eyes shining.

For some, this comes in the form wild, adrenaline-filled activities. Parties, crawling with coloured lights and the glitter of disco balls and the thump thump thump of blood-shaking music. One-night stands. Roller-coasters. Going on holidays, jumping out of a plane. Getting a drastic makeover. Going on a heady shopping spree.

But for others, that sense of aliveness, that feeling of your soul soaring out of your chest like a blossoming, glowing dove to envelop the world in a white rush, comes from quieter, smaller things.

The sight of a sunset, staining the heavens crimson.

A shaded, wooded glen, in which tiny birds croon in the branches and squirrels scamper through the undergrowth. Sunlight dappling the ground, pale yellow and green.

A homeless child, wrapped in bundles of clothes, and looking out at the world with her still, cold face. Others beg, moan, but she is silent. Quiet.

An empty playground beneath a stormy, grey sky, skeletal leaves skirling in the wind. The swing shakes slightly, side to side, as if briefly sat upon by a phantom child.

The warm body of a cat, pressed against your leg, purring and blinking its lazy, yellow eyes, as the rain patters on the roof outside. Cats are the most wonderful creatures in the world. Steady, quiet, selfish, loving, unpredictable.

A cracked and abandoned birdbath, ivy clustering about its rim. All the birds have flown away. There are beetles scuttling out of the cracks, and a lizard lies like a large and flat in its shadow.

An old statue, worn-down by the winds of time, carved eyes pale and miserable.

A mannequin, left by the side of the road, missing an arm and face-down in the grass. I wonder if this is what it envisioned, what it was first brought into the world by the unloving, metal arms of machines? What misery must be locked in its silent, little heart, to be stripped bare when it was made to wear and display beautiful clothes?

One single, straggling flower worming its way through a crack in the concrete. If there weren’t people around, I would kiss its dear little head and whisper to it encouragements.

Rows and rows of people on the bus, with heavy-lidded eyes and even heavier burdens in their breasts. The straps swung to and fro, like the halters of an abattoir. What would they look like, if they were following their dreams, if they were happy, if they were in their element? Beautiful. They would all look beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

A woman sits at a park bench, hem of dress sodden and eyes wet with newly-made tears. She carried with her no belongings. No handbag. Just herself. People pass her by. I pass her by too, but I secretly watch her, and I secretly hurt, and I secretly wonder.

That flash of vulnerability, that buried look in people’s eyes. I want to evaporate into a ghost myself and talk in low voice to their neglected souls.

Pools of still water, covered in froths of algae and lily pads.

An inquisitive crow, darting its beak into a bag of rubbish in front of someone’s house.

Even that brief moment before a thunderstorm which crackles a sense of giddy joy into our hearts. In its gloom, in its doom, in its power and strangeness and wildness, it is unutterably beautiful.

These things make me feel so inexpressibly ALIVE, so full and free, so real and solid that it feels as if my heart would burst from the joy. They touch upon the pulse of life. It’s one of the reasons people imagine and read. It brings them closer to feeling alive, to living in newer and stranger worlds that make our hearts soar and rise and fly.

You should find what makes you feel alive. And you should do it. Soak in it. Stuff your eyes with wonder as if you’ll die in ten seconds, as Ray Bradbury put it.

I’m tired of dead hearts.

20 Dreamer Revelations

Asian Workout

(IThe above image is courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

It’s astounding, how much change can be wrought in two measly days.

After my last, self-pitying post, I sat down with myself and had a good think.

I read self-help articles on the internet, on overcoming feelings of worthlessness, on the Law of Attraction, on being a better human being, on loving myself. Thought some more. I spent time forcing myself to talk to people I normally would have be too afraid and anxious to approach. Stepped out of my comfort zone. I assessed my dreams, probed my own heart and mind and soul.

And, in a matter of two days, I felt more confident, more assured, happier, safer and more excited for my future. This time, I think it’s going to stay. I’ll be elaborating on these revelations on my other INFP blog (one of the recent posts has been inspired by my revelations these past few days), but here are a few things I’ve learnt during this journey into my soul the last forty-eight hours. Maybe it will help you. It did me. We all need to grow. No-one knows everything, even the wisest among us. It helped me to see the light, and you can’t imagine how good it feels.

1. You are worthy because you are alive.

2. It’s all about your mind – if you believe, and have faith in your dreams and yourself, you will get what you want.

3. You are beautiful. All it takes is to think this in the morning as you brush your teeth. Smile into the mirror. People always look prettier when they’re happy.

4. You came into this world with a unique set of talents, a unique worldview, and one of your responsibilities to humanity is to make use of those talents, hone your skills, and give everything you have got.

5. The universe wants to help you. If you truly, truly believe, and expect something will happen, and work hard towards achieving it, the universe will accede to your desires.

6. Don’t be needy, desperate, self-pitying. Doing those things is like trying to eat your own shadow – it gets you nowhere, and it only brings you more negativity. Instead, be loving, self-affirming, feel a vigor for existence and existing, and bubbly wonderfulness will come.

7. Especially don’t be desperate about finding romantic love. As an INFP, I’m naturally an intensely, intensely, INTENSELY romantic person. If you’re not an INFP, it might be a little difficult to imagine the vastness of such a longing, deep as the ocean, wide as the sky. Romance is my kryptonite. But the thing I’ve found is the more you cling to something, the more you’re desperate to have something, the more it eludes you. So, guess what? I’ve let go. And you should to. I put myself on a dose of reality, come to terms with the truths about love, and feel perfectly happy going solo, even for the rest of my life. If it does drop into my lap, then of course, I’ll be over the moon happy. But I won’t be desperate any longer. Romance is a gift, not a given.

8. Whatever that’s making you anxious, attack it, solve it, stop it from making you feel shitty any longer. For years, I struggled under crippling social anxiety, and though two days is hardly enough to completely rewire my brain, I’ve forced myself to talk to people and feel happier and more connected than ever. Hey: I’m not scared anymore! That makes me deliriously happy. My skin is better. I feel vitality rushing through my limbs, strong and springy and glowing. Do yourself a favor and clean out the anxieties and fears and obsessions (if you have any, and if you’re human, you probably do) that stain your brain.

9. I live in a first world country. I’m not starving any time soon, even if I have no money at all, and that makes me so, so lucky. I’m blown away with gratitude; I mean, think about it, you can pursue higher order thinking activities such as reading and writing only because your basic needs of survival are more or less taken care of.

10. Most people are nice. Or have some degree of niceness inside them. Not everyone is out to get you. Most of the people you regard with disdain or suspicion, creating dark characters using your own mind and imagination, are good people. I used to have a lot of trouble trusting people, and I believed so many people were inherently bad. They’re not. And if you talk to them, they’re more than happy to be friendly.

11. You’ve got to give to receive. Rather than wait around for someone to notice your melancholy, troubled soul, go out and make the first step in connecting with others. The more you give, whatever it may be – your words, your friendship – the more you will get. People remember.

12. The more painful something is to do (and I don’t mean something silly like sticking nails into your palm – I mean more of the psychological kind, like continuing writing or running even when you’re tired and feeling bloody awful and sick of the world), the more you MUST do it. Life is suffering, and pain. Only through getting to the hard bits can we achieve true joy and fulfillment.

13. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. You’ll get hurt. That’s just a part of existence. But the rewards you can reap by risking getting hurt more than outweigh the possible pain. Confess to somebody. Get rejected. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter! Go out, get battered, come home, recover, go out again! Battle scars show you tried.

14. Try to understand the people you loathe. It’s easy to hate, but hate does nothing. Yes, some people are racist, some people are cruel, some people are monsters, but the only thing you can do is try and understand their thought process, comprehend their faults and shortcomings, maybe even face the selfishness and cruelty human beings, including you, are capable of, and not let them barricade you from achieving your dreams.

15. No-one can stop you. The universe loves you. NO-ONE can stop you.

16. You’re going to die. Just, whatever you have to do, DO IT.

17. Everyone has it hard, now and then. It’s about your attitude. We always feel alone in our suffering, but that’s not true – everyone who has a beating heart suffers. Keep your head up. Sure, positivity and negativity might not matter in the grand scheme of things, but isn’t the former better than the latter? Choose the better one. Choose the better one.

18. This is so important, I’m going to say it again: Believe. Have faith. Expect success, and you will get it. Only now do I realize how powerful our minds really are in shaping our realities – rather late, I know, but better than never.

19. You deserve good stuff. You deserve success, fulfillment, love, money. Look at you! You’re a wonderful human with your own unique arsenal of talents. You’re beautiful, brave strong, loving. You are worthy of happiness. Trust me on this. You are, you are, you are.

20. Make joy the centre of your life. Anything you do, make sure you’re happy doing it. Enjoy it. Love. And sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t want to, like sit in a dull classroom, or wash dishes, but you can find nuggets of joy and beauty even those situations. You can sing while you wash the dishes, twiddle the plate so that the water flows in an aesthetically pleasing manner over the rim, make it a dance. When you’re bored, ask questions, or make up stuff in your head, or brainstorm ideas. Something. Anything. BE JOYFUL. It’s the only way to live.

Whew. That’s all for now. A lot of these are clichéd aphorisms I theoretically knew, and understood, but did not properly absorb. Now go out there and laugh and dream and live and love.

Attention All INFPs

I started this blog with the intention of connecting with and helping INFPs.

Over time, however, new categories sprouted and it veered into more of a philosophical and personal blog where I splash my thoughts about living and loving and dreaming.

However, I still yearn to connect with and help INFPs specifically. So, I’ve made a new blog, just for you guys. 🙂  Of course, anyone can relate and extract advice from this blog, but it’s going to be particularly geared towards the Myer-Briggs Dreamer personality. It’s called INFP Dreamer, and you can find it here.

Mind you, it’s still in its early stages, and right now I have only one post on there. I’ll still be keeping the INFP content on this blog, but if I find that more people are reading the articles on the other one, then I might take it down.

I want to live, learn, love and grow with you. It’s never easy, and if you’ve read some of my more self-indulgent and rambling posts on this blog, you’ll know that no matter how wise someone is, they still struggle. I want to help. Also, I’m crazily passionate about this personality type, and the unique approach to life and living it requires.

I’ll still be posting on this blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, for taking the time to read my writing and even commenting.

A special thank you to those who have reached out and supported me for quite a while.

You know who you are (AMENDMENT: My desperate INFP fear of offending anyone is currently surfacing, and I’d just like to say I appreciate every single one of you truly, truly, truly, even if you’ve only posted a comment once, or a couple of times, I don’t mean to exclude anyone, I sincerely appreciate you all!)

You have helped me, and other people who have stumbled onto this blog, in a million more ways than you can imagine.

Lots of love,

Anne

A Private Diary Entry: Bravery

scared

Dear Diary,

I am scared.

It’s strange, how shameful it is show your fear. You’re seen as feeble. Someone who revels in their own pain, and has the impoliteness to rip out their own intestines and show the pinkish-grey coils to others. No thank you. We don’t want that. I am scared, and I wish I knew why. I wish I could clinically extract my fear, distil it into a test tube, and then view it under a microscope to determine the best way to destroy it.

Do you ever find yourself curling your lip at your own behavior and thoughts? For a moment, you are disgusted and shamed by your own neurosis. All my life, I’ve been this tangled knot of fears and insecurities and anxieties. It’s pretty much like walking around as a human-shaped tangle of nerves. A network of live wires. I get thousands of shocks every single day, until I’m twitching and buzzing in pain. When you’re so…aware, so self-conscious, so sensitive, when loving yourself is harder than inching a nail through rock, everything hurts. It hurts so much. Honestly, it’s as if you don’t have a skin, that you’re just exposed to the world, slabs of red flesh lined with muscle laid bare for all to see and poke and prod at with surgical instruments. Lift up the gleaming organs. Stab the heart until it spurts and gushes a red fountain. It’s as if you’re entire soul is a festering canker sore. You’re a cat, festering with sores and itches and rashes, missing an eye, fur ripped out in places, crawling with fleas, and, most of all, mewling in pain, and yet they still beat you. Again and again and again.

I care too much about what people think. I’m terrified of being disliked. And this is at counter purposes with my desire to be individual. To be brave, and strong, and not care what people think. I fear everything under the sun. I fear the world. I fear it all, and it swallows me until I’m just a dark rush of shrinking. I try to be strong. We all try to be so strong, because we’re told that breaking under pain, curling up into a fetus to nuzzle at the imaginary flesh of our mother’s womb (Safe. Safe. Where has safety gone? I’ve lost it, long, long, long ago. I never feel safe. It’s all danger) is weak. Weakness is frowned down upon, in both men AND women. Strength and toughness are admired in our society, along with persistence and grit and being true to yourself. So, we are strong. We show ourselves to be strong. But being strong can sometimes be a cover-up. It doesn’t mean we aren’t hurting, hurting so much we’d rather fold ourselves into shadows and collapse into dust. I don’t know why I’m weeping a bit writing this. It’s just life. It’s all transient, and it all ends. That’s the thing about pain though – it always seems the most important thing in the world in the moment. Battling with anxiety, trying to handle social situations without looking like a fool, keeping your head up in a world that doesn’t understand you, feeling so wrong, so off, so defective, feeling so delicate and yet being told that we have to be TOUGH, tough and confident and assertive…it’s like being stabbed every day. Everyday. Wounds. Come home to lick the wounds.

I know I’m an overly neurotic, anxious, depressive, melancholy and obsessive person, but the knowledge of that does not make it any better. Only, it leads to self-hatred. Look at me. My insides are curdled with these thoughts. I feel lesser than others for being haunted by so many demons. Like I’m unhallowed. Add to this the desire for perfection in one’s art, and you’ve got an exhausting cocktail of angry shadows that seek to chew apart the deepest recesses of yourself. My writing has been taking a nosedive, along with my confidence, if it isn’t obvious already. My jewel, once so bright, and faceted, and tough, is being squashed like a mere grape. Squelch. I know it takes persistence. I know it takes hard work. I know I have to get used to misery, and create art despite the misery, even when it hurts. To run even when it hurts. Nevertheless, when you’re knee-deep in it, it’s hard. Especially when being bombarded by the talents of others. This envy is pointless and no-one cares about it, but I think that if anyone reads this diary entry, and feels the same way, and feels less alone for, then I will have accomplished my goal. I so want to love you. I so want to love everyone. I want to hug and love people. Why is that so hard? Believing in yourself is hard. Loving yourself is hard. Why is it the hardest to deal with ourselves? Why are we so often in conflict with ourselves? I wish we could separate the parts of ourselves into different people, and send them off to situations that require the specific functions. That way, I could send my confident and happy self into the world every day, rather than the hunched, scared self, wringing hands and giving weak smiles. It’s just life. We’re all going to die. But boy, must we suffer between the interval. There’s nothing I wish for more than to embrace other people who are suffering. When people suffer, and expose the rawness within themselves, a bottomless reservoir of affection within me rises up to the surface. I love the rawness. I love the pain in their eyes, not for some sadistic reason, but because it makes me feel close to them, makes me feel connected, as suffering humans.

I think I could only fall in love with someone who shows me their vulnerability, their suffering. There’s nothing I love more. As suffering organisms, all swimming in the same consciousness. If you’re suffering right now, I wish I could hug you. To wipe the tears from your eyes, and know, together, in our hearts, that this is all we have, this sun, this moon, these stars, this us. Just, to cry, and to know. I’m so idealistic when it comes to love I even laugh at myself, but it’s the bad kind of laugh, the kind of laugh you laugh to cover up the true pain underneath. I hate that about myself, you know? Independence is something I try to pride myself on. I use it to hold my head high and weather the batterings of life. I tell myself to be realistic. I tell myself not to hope for too much, for fear of getting disappointed.

Disappointment hurts more than any other emotion. It’s a grey wound, deep, and very, very quiet. When we’re sad, we cry, when we’re happy, we smile, when we’re angry, we shout and fume and seethe, but disappointment is silent. We just sit there, a little dumbfounded at the intensity of the pain, while the hurt nibbles at our soul like so many ethereal piranhas. We allow ourselves to be eaten, to be chewed, and do not run away, so stunned are we.

But, yes. Deep inside me, down where the glowing fishes and shipwrecks lie, there is a deep yearning larger and older than the universe for love. For true love. A grand, tired, sleeping fish, with sad eyes the size of countries filled with pale glitter. I tell myself it’s just a fantasy. I remind myself of my own parent’s divorce. I tell myself no-one can love me until I truly love myself. I tell myself love is transient. I tell myself there are more facets to love than that of the romantic. I tell myself I’m not worthy of love, that no-one could love anyone as messed up as me, as unwanted, as socially shunned, as misunderstood. Who wants a broken toy? No-one. I tell myself that I don’t need true love, that friendships and soulships and familial relationships are enough. I tell myself that a relationship won’t complete me, that life is dissatisfaction. That love can’t fill the gaps in my being. Nothing works. I’ve never even met true love, yet I yearn for it as deeply as mothers yearn for their lost children. The entire concept caters to my sensibilities so perfectly it makes me weep just to think of it. I yearn for it so hard it sometimes feel like my heart is ripping to shreds in the process. I yearn, oh!, how I yearn.

And how I loathe my own yearning. Sylvia Plath summed up my feelings perfectly in one of her quotes: “How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.” The moment I saw this quote, grief stunned me in the chest, hard as a smote from a loved one. None of my family members understand the slightest bit of me. I want to be understood as much as I want to be a writer. I need to be understood as much as other people need to breathe. To grieve for something you have never known! To feel safe, secure, loved, understood by a single person. To be in someone’s arms, and to wake up in the morning to their soft comfort. To love. Love. Needless to say, if I ever loved, it would be with complete and utter devotion. If I ever loved, and were betrayed by that love, I would shrink from the world. There is no middle ground when it comes to emotions, when you’re an INFP and a HSP. It’s either splintering joy or crushing despair. I’m afraid of dying alone, and never being loved. I’m afraid I’ve idealised love too much. I’m afraid of loving too much. I’m afraid of losing the love I have not yet received. I’m afraid of pushing away love. Of being too socially awkward and in too much pain to open myself to love. I’m afraid of people being disgusted by me. I send the wrong messages. I do this stupid thing where I push people away, and act cold and aloof when what my heart really is screaming to do is to talk to them, get to know them. And this empty screaming inside me goes on and on. For instance, right now, dear diary, there is this one person I would really like to get to know. I keep bumping into him, and I’m afraid that he hates me for my coldness, my unresponsiveness. I would love to get to know him. I find him quite fascinating – incredibly logical, systematic, and grounded, yet kind and heartfelt, full of integrity and wisdom. I’m afraid of being too enthusiastic, and pushing him away. I’m afraid he won’t like me enough to let me talk to him.

I’ve kind of let the relationship (if it could be called that) devolve into mutual hostility from pretended apathy on my part, when all my heart wants to do is be amiable. This has been bothering me a good deal, and I’m afraid of not talking to him soon enough and thus giving my silly brain time to build him up in my mind, to fall in love with a fabrication of my own imagination. I’m afraid of falling in love with ghosts. I’m afraid of being seen as too obsessive or weird. I’m afraid of passing up an opportunity to get to know a good soul. Someone I can connect with. You can see that kind of stuff, in the eyes. The next time I bump into him, I’m going to try and strike up a conversation, and if it doesn’t work, if he brushes me off (a stab of rejection, deep into the sensitive flesh of my soul), then I’ll lift my head, put on a brave face while my heart cries, and move on. That’s what I always do.

Maybe if I yearn hard enough, I’ll disintegrate.

I’m going to write for a while, and then go to bed. I’m going to find solace through my distasteful words, and dream of better worlds. Of better “Me”s. Of true love. I’ll probably sniffle and a shed a few tears. And then I’ll wake up in the morning and scoff at this entry and scoff at myself and scoff at my words and toss my hair over my shoulder and go out into the world with a flat smile on my face.

I’m brave.

Love,

Anne

A Happy Sadness. A Sad Happiness.

Together

That’s just it, isn’t it?

Life, I mean. A happy sadness. A sad happiness.

As we go through life, we can’t help but feel a constant dissatisfaction with existence. Like we’ve been cheated of some elusive piece of happiness. That the heavens have reserved a slice of the cake all for themselves, and angels are delicately nibbling on the ethereal stuff with smug looks on their faces. It’s a tiny hole in our hearts. It’s a tiny niggling sense of unrest, at the back of our minds, like a bit of grit inside the fleshy mouth of an oyster; and like an oyster, over time, we envelop it in layers and layers of evanescent joys and sorrows so that we don’t have to feel it anymore. But it’s still there. Just a smoother. Softer. Less irritating.

The source of this dissatisfaction is our desire for a magnificent, spiritual wholeness and chest-splitting joy to exist. For our days to be honeyed with love and heart-tingled and pillowed clouds. Real life, no matter how much joy we try to extract from it, always falls short. Some of us hope for a grand Almighty, a grand Reason, beyond our narrow lives. Others pine and wish for another person to fill the hole in our hearts, for lips to kiss away our tears and arms to hug us from the world. In the end, however, only Death embraces us, and we stop crying on the outside.

Why are so many people attracted to magic? To fate, or destiny? Because it brings us joy. Because it makes us feel there is something bigger than ourselves. Because we want there to be crinkling, otherworldly corners at the edges of the world to make our own world, our own, often ugly world, significant and part of a more beautiful whole. Unfortunately, nothing can staunch this dissatisfaction. It pours from our lives the same way light streams from the sun.

No matter how happy we are, the happiness is always haunted by echoes: this won’t last forever, we’re all going to die, this is just an emotion and means nothing at all in the full scheme of things. Likewise, no matter how miserable we are, even if we’re so sad that the suffering seems to suffuse and poison our very veins, there’s some happiness in the sadness. Some beauty in the tragedy. Sometimes, it’s only when we’re suffering that we truly live, truly feel alive. Have you ever seen black and white photos of dead people? It’s gruesome, its sad, its macabre, but there’s a wonderful beauty in the closed shell of the eyelid, the sealed lips. An everlasting serenity. Look. That’s a human. A dead human. Look at us, in our repose upon the waters of eternity. We sleep. Same thing with misery. Perhaps that’s why crying feels so cathartic. So much more real and important than high laughter. It confirms our existence. It jogs our hearts into action, as they bleed and contract and hurt.

Even love. Love, in our society, is often seen as the panacea to all our woes, even if we don’t like to admit it and feel ourselves above such ‘silly’ daydreams. We all want to be loved. We all want to have that special someone by our side. It’s a deep-seated need, and often it feels more than purely for the sake of procreation, but transcendental. If you sit somewhere with your love, especially in nature, perhaps beneath the dappled shadows of a tree, and look into their eyes, you touch upon something pure and thrumming. Something so true it makes you want to cry. But even love has a bitterness, sweet as it can be, even when it’s going good, because love, like all things, fade. The more we love something, the more we are afraid of it ending, of it being taken away from us. When we look into the eyes of a loved one, and feel our heart balloon with overwhelming affection, we can’t help but feel the shadow that curls in the backs of our own eyes also: you will die, someday. Maybe you’ll even die before I do, and leave me shuddering on the shore alone. And then he or she smiles and asks what you’re thinking about, and you just smile, and brush it off, even though you know the shadows will come clawing out of your chest in the night and grinning at you with their fragmented teeth.

You just want to hold on to it all. We all do. We just want to hold onto our parents, our friends, our siblings, our partners, our children. Sadness and happiness are never separate because we so desperately want to keep things permanent. Stay! Please, just stay like that. Let this moment stay forever. Let time stop. Don’t go. Don’t leave. Don’t end. Our existences are transient, and we hate this. We want to last. They say everything wants to live, and that’s just another way of saying everything wants to last and matter. Living makes you matter. When you’re dead, you, yourself, don’t matter anymore. When the human race comes to an end, we won’t matter anymore. And all this fills us with anguish, darkens our happiness and tinges even our darkest moments with a flavor of inevitability, of shortness, of the sad beauty of a flower that blooms once a year and dies.

Living hurts. Hearts hurt. Hearts hurt too much because they love too much. I love too much. You love too much. We all love too much, in our own way, and though it hurts, it’s better to choose the pain rather than not live. At least, that is what we tell ourselves. There is nothing we can do. We pick the flowers, and they wilt. We hug our loved ones knowing they will die one day. We touch the world knowing our fingers will be gone soon.

And the funny thing is, sometimes joy can be so great that it’s painful. Sometimes misery can be so great that it transmutes into a kind of holy happiness. Maybe even that division, of joy seeping into grief, of grief seeping into joy, is an erroneous one. Maybe there is no such thing as joy and grief, no distinction between the two, and it’s all just one emotion, just one feeling. Maybe it’s just Life. All just being.

If that’s the case, well, then. Let us savour the bitter dregs along with honey. Let us get messy in the swamps of misery, and soar like birds in our happiness. To sit with discomfort, rather than hide from it. To feel strong when we are strong, stronger than the world. Let us feel it. Let us feel life. Feel it all. Feel it all. Just, feel. That’s the meaning of life. To be aware. To feel. To think. To experience.

To be.

Anthem For Misfits

Anthem

I’ve suffered from an inferiority complex all my life.

No. It’s not just my own problem. It’s because of you.

You were so sure, so bold. So confident. You still are.

But the problem is, with that assurance came cruelty. Indifference. You batted me down, like an alleyway of cats swiping at a single desperate starling.

Your words were etched in stone. My own opinions, qualms and dislikes, even when I did voice them, evaporated like smoke. I was a ghost among the living, unheard, unnoticed, unheeded.

When you’re introverted, it’s hard not to be intimidated by extroverts of facile tongue.

When you’re sensitive, it’s hard not too feel weaker than your less soft counterparts.

When you’re a dreamer, it’s hard not to let the words of realists get to you.

Every word I hear in my day-to-day life is another nail hammered into the coffin.

You can’t be a writer. You don’t have any talent. Besides, it’s really hard, and takes a lot of time.

Thud. Thud.

You’re too sensitive. And optimistic. You need to start thinking realistically.

Thud.

Why are you so quiet?

Thud.

Only unintelligent students who will get nowhere in life skip school.

Thud.

You have to go to university to be successful. Otherwise, you’ll be a failure. Washed up.

Thud. Thud.

You must work at a job, even if you hate it. You must give up precious minutes of your life and stand at a desk shuffling papers and twittering on phones. This is the contribution of every good citizen.

Thud.

Follow our rules. When the bell rings, then you can go home. When the man turns green, you walk across the road. When everyone rushes in one direction, you better follow.

Thud.

You’re dead. You’re dead and buried, at least three feet down beneath the earth, and you can’t breathe. Thick earth clogs your throat. A thousand beetles scuttle industriously over your body. Rats chew out your eyes. You’re dead.

And how fantastically easy it is to live a life this way, with a tombstone weighing on your heart. There is nothing less stressful and more simpler than to coast along the path ordained for you, passed from hand to hand like a well-trained little puppy.

After all, that’s what they told us, and look at what tough, grand, glorious, knowledgeable people they are! Navigating through the perils of society like it’s only a little trip down to the corner store. Their words must be right. They understand the harsh realities of this world, and while they go out and succeed, sipping wine in their million dollar complexes, you’ll be a raggedy, homeless person by the curb with only the bitter dregs of broken dreams in your mouth.

No. I refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe what they say. I refuse to be buried. I refuse not to trust my own words, my own instincts, my own intuitions. I refuse to feel inferior every time you ignore me, talk to me, hate me, avoid me, look down on me. I refuse to see my strengths of sensitivity, creativity, quietness, insight, and understanding as weaknesses.

Enough.

I’d rather be a pigeon pecking at crumbs on the sidewalk than live on jeweled fruits in a gilded cage.

I’d rather be out in the open air, and see the sky, the clouds, the stars, than be buried in the most comfortable coffin.

Yes, I’m not like you.

I like to talk to flowers more than people. They can teach me more of life than you ever could.

I like my own company better than that of others. Our conversations will sparkle like stardust. You don’t like talking to me? You think I’m too strange and awkward and quiet? Good. Because I don’t like talking to you either. After conversing with you, the taste of lies and high-pitched laughter that lingers in my mouth reminds me of blood. My eyes are shiny and bright and blank as copper pennies after trying to light up for you. No more.

I like to be quiet, and I like silence. All the better to hear the mice chewing through your soul. Oh, did you know your face was cracking? Look, it’s splintering like plaster. Goodness, what squeaking. I wonder when they’ll burst your skin open and crawl down your chest in a tidal wave of furry grey bodies.

I like to daydream and imagine. It makes my existence happier. Sure, I might lose my keys. Misplace my money. Forgot phone calls. And maybe my imagination will not earn me a single dime – after all, like you said, I can’t become a writer, right? But don’t slap me across the face for it. Don’t rip my books out of my hands and slam my head into the jaws of a mechanical grinder. My brain works differently from yours, and, in the long run, you’ll lose more than me.

I’m soft. I’m sensitive. I’m a daydreamer. I’m quiet. I’m an introvert. I’m a misfit. I’m scatterbrained. I’m awkward. I’m solitary. I’m not like you.

But that does not make you better than me.

But we both have dreams, don’t we? Only, you sure like to crush mine, grinding your heels into my fingers until they break and bleed. You sure like to discount me. And I don’t need that. I have enough self-doubt as it is. I don’t need you to make me feel worse.

And your dreams of making big bucks and living the high life? They don’t touch upon the pulse of life. They are dead, shiny dreams, like slaughtered animals with hairy golden pelts.

We are different. I chase my dreams. You chase yours. Just don’t try to kill mine before they’ve grown their wings. Don’t try to put me down before I’ve even taken my first shaky step.

We’ll see who’s happier in the end.

You Are Alive

Alive

Let’s take a deep breath together.

In.

Out.

Really feel the air whirl into your lungs and expand the spongy tissue.

Another?

In. Out. In. Out.

This isn’t for some fancy, hypnotic relaxation purpose.

This is simply to remind you that you are alive.

Do it again with that knowledge in your mind.

In.

Out.

And now, I want you to expand your mind too, to encompass all the millions of souls out there who are breathing just as you and I are. All those living, moving, thinking people. Each with their own intricate universe swirling between the lobes of their ears. Each with their own dreams. Aspirations. Loved ones. It’s mind-boggling, yet also humbling, to think about.

How many of us have a tendency to get so embroiled in our own affairs that we forget to see ourselves for the tiny drop in the ocean we are? We concentrate only our patch of shadow, and forget the darkness that stains the rest of the globe.

It’s not our fault. You and I, we’re stuck in our separate bubbles of consciousness, that’s all. We can only live one life at a time. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good to remind ourselves we are living, and that other people are living too.

Breathe. In. Out.

You’re alive.

You’re alive. Look at you. Look at me.

Look at us.

Another Conversation With You. My Friend.

Quiet Moments

Hello. How are you? I’m terrified of boring people with my posts, but today, or, I should say, this evening, I felt like having a conversation with you. Whoever you are. It doesn’t matter. Just as long as you’re human, with a beating heart. If you’re anything else, then, well, I suppose I have cause to be afraid. Please spare the libraries once you’ve annihilated all the other institutions, okay? Oh, and spare the people.

Anyway.

These couple of days, while I’ve been moving into a new place (it’s not nice, but beggars can’t be choosers) and getting my life back into order, I’ve been struggling with injecting authenticity into my blog. My words grew shiny and shallow, like pretty pieces of ornate bone without the flesh. Perhaps I’ll look back on this blog, after I’m a published author, and laugh at my musings and silly struggles. But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? You never hear from the people before they achieve success. That’s the darkest period: when no-one cares about you, and sometimes even you find it hard to give a damn about yourself.

But, yes. I felt I had lost something, somehow. One of the aims of this blog is to be an antidote for loneliness, mine and yours. To be a place where hearts could touch across the spans of miles, countries, worlds. To make people feel less alone, less scared. To commiserate, and realise there are others like us out there. In trying to make my writing better, and hating the results, I think I lost some of that. Did you notice it? You probably did.

Recently, I’ve given myself over completely to writing. Well, that’s my piece of inspiration over and done with; I’ve taken plunge, now so can you! But honestly, it’s less of a plunge and more of a dizzying free fall into oblivion. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m terrified about what I’m going to do. I’m terribly sorry if this bores you; but I just felt like having a honest conversation for once, without the fluff, without trying to impress anyone, without censoring myself for fear of not writing well. Bare my soul, I suppose. Capture a moment in time, a thought.

But, yes. Basically, writing has become the be-all-and-end-all for me. It wasn’t a sudden decision: it crept upon me, day by day, inching its ink-stained fingers across my body, until I was thoroughly taken and ensnared. In regards to making money, and keeping a roof over my head, I literally have no backup plan. Of course, I’ve been trying to make a crack at freelance writing, and whatnot, but they have been baby steps filled with pompous self-confidence. I’ll probably fall flat on my face, but that’s okay.

And what spurred me to this final decision? To fling away a future of financial stability? Well, love and hate, really. If you take anything away from this slapdash, stream-of-consciousness post, it’s to follow your dreams. I don’t want to settle, and I don’t want to compromise. Maybe you’re like that too, you know? Especially if you’re creative. I have the kind of temperament that can’t stand institutional regime and rigidity. A free spirit, as you may call it. The thought of having a normal nine-to-five job makes me want to claw out my own eyes.

In essence, it seems the only thing I’m slightly competent at (or trying to be), and the only reason I was put on this earth, seems to be to write and tell stories. These kinds of things, well, you just know, if you tap on your ribcage and ask your heart. I suppose, eventually, if I’m forced by financial necessity, to get a normal, odious part-time job in the ‘real world’, rather than spend my days writing articles as a freelance writer, reading, and working on novels and short stories, I’ll do it. Perhaps sweeping popcorn off the floor of a cinema. Clean bathrooms. You know you want something bad when you’ll do anything if it means you can keep on working towards it. Well, perhaps not anything: prostitution and drug-dealing are two occupations I am compelled to rule out.

In other words, it’s a balance between squeezing as much time out of the day to be spent on literary and creative pursuits while still staying off the streets and not starving. Well, that’s the plan. Feel free to call me out on it, dear friend, and slap me into reality if you disagree. After all, this is a conversation. I can imagine you talking back to me. Oh, dear. Now you probably think I’m crazy. Then again, if you’ve read my blog up to this point, and haven’t intuited a bit of my madness through my writing, either you’re undiscerning, or I’m just good at covering up.

You know. We’re all the same. We just want things to be Okay. You want your life to turn out Okay, and I want my life to turn out Okay. Wanting crystal balls that actually work is an expression of our distaste for uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to thoughts such as: What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get published even after I die? What if I don’t succeed?

That instability will never disappear. Once, late at night, I got to thinking about how wonderful my life would be if I never had to worry about money, and could concentrate solely on my writing. And then I fleshed it out, imbued the daydream with cold-blood reality, like slipping some anti-freeze into the veins of a live, flopping fish, so I could get a good look at it; and I realised if that was so, I would probably die without putting my pen to paper. I would be too comfortable; it would be far too easy to procrastinate. I would spend half the day nibbling my fingers and the other half bemoaning the talent of others. Maybe fear can sometimes be the greatest motivator of all. Maybe that’s why people from such disadvantaged backgrounds can leap to such heights of achievement. Because if you’re already at the rim of the bowl rather than the bottom, and can already see the view – ah, lovely, lovely, and are not wallowing in darkness, you’re less likely to make the final kick to escape.

Anyone who has had parents know the expectations they can put on you. The thought of breaking to my mother the news of my New Life Plan (the only motto of it being: FOLLOW WHAT YOU LOVE) makes me cringe. A shower of acidic words will rain down upon me, I know it. But you know what I know more? It’s that I’m dying. That you’re dying. WE’RE ALL DYING. And I don’t want to squander the little time I have here on this earth. No-one does. You know, it’s very simple: find what you love, and follow it through to the end. That’s what life should be about. But we both know society likes to tangle things up into knots, until we can’t make a head or tail of it, and are too afraid to deal with it all.

How easily they scare you. Parents scare you, advertisements scares you, teachers scare you, governments scare you, news scares you, statistics scare you. It’s no wonder we’re all a bunch of obedient little puppies, clocking in at our everyday puppy training, pushing bones across desks and yapping on phones to other doggies. Recently, I was reading a few news articles on the terrible job prospects of those who didn’t choose degrees on concrete subjects e.g. science, mathematics, engineering, law, etc. It makes people like me wonder why we were put on this earth. Does anyone appreciate creative intuitive people? Are we seen as providing value any more, with our dreams and words and feelings? This entire New Life Plan of mine might be just a delusion. Maybe I’m just lost in my fairyland, and haven’t yet been exposed to the harsh realities of a capitalist society. I’ve grown up dirt-poor, but I live in a developed country, so I’ve never been truly hungry. Maybe I know nothing about how hard it gets. If that’s the case, dear friend, I would highly appreciate it if you would burst my bubble. It would be the better for society; they’d get a new dog, then, instead of a loafer.

Follow the joy. See? My heart’s singing. It sings when I think of libraries, books, words, imagination, wacky worlds and wackier characters. Sometimes, it’s easier to cram a whole fish down your throat than to believe in yourself. Ah, the fear of delusion. That ought to be a topic I should tackle, in my little blog here for dreamers. Dreams are curlicues of spun sugar, and so breakable, so brittle, so easy to shatter into a thousand clear nothings. Our hearts spin wreaths of them, but what happens when the source of the dreams grows tired?

I don’t know. All I know is Love. I’m trusting the Love in my heart.

I’m an idiot. I’m probably delusional. I’m a madwoman. But I don’t care. Because I’m a dreamer.

I wish you well, dear friend. I want to hug you, and comfort you, and tell you that everything will be Okay. But I don’t think Okay is something we can ever control. All I can do is urge you to find your true happiness.

Farewell, for now.

Dreamerrambling